The Middle Week + Work Travel

This past week, end to end, felt like a 9 or 10 day week.  As I sit now at the end of day 6 of the week, and day 17 of The Whole Damn Thing, I am just so happy to be this far along in the hard push that I knew January was going to be — and even happier that I am still rolling right along.

I was due in to Charlotte from Wednesday – Friday for work, and after a packed Monday and Tuesday trying to get everything ready, Tuesday night Yoga was more than in order.

fuel sweat grow: charlottesville opal yoga

A big group of us MAD ones got caught up in a non-stop Facebook thread that landed us in Opal Yoga at 5:30, prepped and ready for a near 90 minutes of Yin Yoga and myofascial release that was led by Mia in her Rasa Yoga Lab class.  And I needed it more than I even know.

fuel sweat grow: opal yoga charlottesville

Still sore from a killer workout on Sunday, my hamstrings needed some serious love to help recover and release.  While the early moments of the class my ability to make it through seemed a little questionable (my hamstrings were not remotely forgiving), ten minutes in I had generated some good heat, and slowly but surely things began to move a little easier, feel a little better, and ultimately felt amazing.

I needed it.  Not just my sore and stress bearing body, but my mind.  I needed the time away from everything else; the time in my own body, my own breath, and my own mind.  Even if just for a moment

Still in the zen-ish wake of savasana, I got to work in the kitchen cleaning out the rest of the fridge contents with a serious focus on getting meals organized for my trip.

fuel sweat grow: ground beef and roasted sweet potatoes

It was ground beef with zucchini, yellow squash, and bell peppers made the bulk of the meals, and roasted sweet potatoes with rosemary sea salt on the side.  The whole meal was plated with some leftover cole slaw (green cabbage, red cabbage, carrot, green onion, kale and a light olive oil and sea salt dressing.

fuel sweat grow: The Whole Damn Thing Dinner

While I loved this meal round I, the best part about all of these items and their flavor is that they are even better as leftovers.  Seriously.  When you travel as much as I do, and you’re constantly bringing food in tow, it’s important to plan meals that are good two to three days after the fact.

This particular meal got me through my trip to Charlotte (in several different installments), which was so critical since lunch is the absolute hardest time of day for me when I’m in the office.

By the time I got home, around 8pm on Friday night, I was beyond ready to be back to my Charlottesville routine — which I’ve got three (now two) days to enjoy before heading out to San Francisco for another work trip (though, I’m not fighting against mid 60’s temps, and my favorite city to visit).

Today kicked off with my two favorite Saturday things: MADabolic Cville and an almond milk latte from Milli Joe, and for that I am thankful.

Coffee, Recovery + the Sweetness of Life

There’s a strange feeling in the air; a slower pace than a typical monday, and a sense of calm that trumps the urgency that usually dominates the start of a new week.

fuel sweat grow: coffee is life

As I sat sipping my coffee this morning, a welcomed change to my typically hurried infusion of caffeine, I took a few extra minutes to breathe, settle into Monday, and embrace the Holiday calm.

The best part about the week of blending nothing and everything is taking more time to focus on what I’m really needing right now — some serious recovery sweats.

fuel sweat grow: sweat schedule Holidays 2014 We’ve gotten pretty into declaratory sweat schedules around here lately, a long-time habit from my lululemon days circa 2009-11, with a little more of the personalized branding to make it feel like home.  I’m pretty excited looking at this because I know how killer all of those days will be (in a good way), but also because I’m heading into a long stretch of…well, stretching…so expect a little revisiting the practice of Becoming a Supple Leopard and some new habit’s I’m forming to complement everything I’m putting my body through these days.  While I’ve been a little lax recently with my stretching and whole wellness routine, I’ve been creating balance with some other life choices that just fill my heart right up.

Last week amid the mayhem I opted to give my body an end-of-week break since it had been through enough with travel, gluttony, and constant pushing of December, and instead, I filled my usual Saturday morning sweat slot with two of the sweetest girls ever, and their amazing parent’s who are undoubtedly beginning a beautiful family adventure.

fuel sweat grow: Erin McDermotte Suki and Coco

Suki, my first (McDermott) White baby love, recently became a big sister to Coco (Collier Carrington White) and could not be more perfect for the role.  She’s lost none of her spunk or smooching skills, but has become an immediate protector and best friend to her sweet sister, as if her role was laid out perfectly for her.

I stopped by for a visit, and to give Coco some ‘welcome to the world’ gifts (any excuse to shop at Pottery Barn Kids + Baby), and of course ended up in my favorite room in the house, and the creative haven for Erin McDermott Jewelry.

fuel sweat grow: Erin McDermott Jewelry and Suki girl

The visit, the conversation, and the re-connection that I love every time I can make it in Charlotte was so much more than any workout I could have forced into the morning haze, and was exactly what my body and soul needed to take that first deep breath, and full exhale out as I moved closer to letting go for the Holidays.

Now, here we are on Monday, wrapping up all the loose ends, and creating space for relaxation.  It’s never a dull moment around here, but here’s to filling them with the joy and laugher of good friends and family to close out the year.  ❤

A Weekend of Workouts, Yoga, Friends + Yum

Last week was exciting, overwhelming, and completely packed.  Thanks to the rain that had been pouring down for days, we had to split up the bootcamp groups to bring them inside which meant early mornings every day.  When the sun finally came out on Friday morning, it was almost euphoric, and a definite prelude to a classically beautiful Charlottesville weekend.
morning bootcamp

The Friday bootcamp workout took us right up to the hour marker with a solid warmup and stretch followed by a chipper-style partner workout that took all the groups between 22-30 minutes.

The rules of the WOD were that both partners had to carry the med ball at some point during the run, and only one person’s work counted at any given time, so the resting partner was either at rest, or holding a plank, while the other was working.  The workout was:

  • 800m run w/med ball (12 or 20lbs)
  • 100 Box Jumps (resting partner held a plank)
  • 150 Kettlebell swings
  • 100 Push-ups
  • 150 Air squats (resting partner held a plank)
  • 800m run w/med ball (12 or 20lbs)

I worked out with the 7am group which was an awesome way to kick off the day.  I love getting a solid workout in early so I can either take the rest of the day easy, or take an afternoon run or walk when it’s nice out.  Dar actually offered an optional Saturday bootcamp to anyone that could make it, and found herself with a full house on Saturday morning for a killer Barbell Complex that I’m going to try out tomorrow morning.

The rest of Friday flew by with meetings and to-do lists in anticipation of a pretty awesome weekend.  As I shared a few weeks ago, two of my favorite people – Katie and Adam – were coming up from Charlotte to teach an inversion workshop at Opal Yoga here in Cville.  Neither of them had ever been to Charlottesville before, so it was game on to try and show them the most abridged version of everything that makes Charlottesville unbelievable.

We strolled the downtown mall, hit up the middle of Friday’s after five, and then made our way over to The Local for a long (and overdue) dinner.

The Local

The weather got a bit wonky as our drinks came out, so our awesome waitress let us move into the private wine room that was empty after a reservation cancellation.

the local wine room

I’m not sure if it could have gotten much better than that; great friends, amazing food, and the ability to hear each other and have very in-depth conversations – all surrounded by walls chock full of wine.  In the words of our friend Brandon: #notbadifyoulikeperfect.

And that wasn’t even all.  When we got home we had the most amazing treat, literally: cupcakes from one of our favorite friends, Anita, who is the sweet-genius behind Maliha Creations, and happens to also be our neighbor.  We had received (hand delivered by her three adorable children) lavender cupcakes with vanilla + lemon icing on Thursday night, only to be surprised with a second box of carrot cake cupcakes with caramel drizzle on Friday afternoon.

maliha creations - cupcakes

They were amazing.  Seriously amazing.  I love carrot cake, and these were especially good, but there was something so different and appealing about the combination of the lavender and lemon that I couldn’t get enough of.

lavender/lemon cupcake

They were the perfect way to end the night.

Saturday was a crazy morning that included, but was not limited to, 90 minutes of walking for me, getting locked out of the house with all of the keys and dogs inside (thanks Kristin for saving our lives with the million keys at the bottom of your bag), and the Charlottesville City Market.  With all of the bustling around town we got home with just enough time to make a quick salad before the yoga workshop.

grilled chicken salad

Pretty simple no-drama salad here: romaine, cucumber, avocado, grilled chicken, tomato.

The workshop was awesome, and we had a great group of well-intentioned, fun, and engaged yogi’s at Opal, which made it even more amazing.  Here are a few pics that Katie took to capture the event.

Opal workshop w/ Adam + Katie

Opal Workshop with Adam + Katie

Opal workshop with Adam + Katie

Even Dar got into it, and was able to knock ‘crow’ off of her to-do list in her first-ever attempt which is both impressive and really annoying to anyone who has ever struggled. But hey, coordination is coordination I suppose, and you know how she likes those functional movements.

After the workshop we took up four tables at Moto Pho Co AND One Meatball Place and played musical chairs (meals) for a while, getting to know each other a little better, inducting Katie and Adam into our culture (it wasn’t difficult) and enjoying the beautiful day that it turned out to be.

Since Adam also teaches music he and Katie had to head back to Charlotte last night so we capped off their visit with a necessary trip to Paradox Pastry, and then a tour of our top-secret, never been revealed location for the new Fight Gone MAD: Cville.  I think it’s safe to say you can expect to see them here again, hopefully sooner rather than later, and most definitely for some events around the grand opening of Fight Gone MAD, and anything else we can think of to bring them back.  If you have ideas of your own, inbox me, I’m taking all suggestions.

They gave me this awesome spice kit from Savory Spice Shop in Charlotte as a Thank you for having them, and I could not be more pumped to use them in some meals very soon.  Thank you guys!

spice kit

We already miss having them here, but I can’t exactly put into words how devastated Tank and Bug were that they left.  Tank took to Adam more (and faster) than he has ever taken to another human in his life, and bug was sure that she was going to get to live with Katie (and Mitch, wedgie, ralph + weaz).  They even practiced their own versions of sun salutations on the deck for an hour before giving up and settling into the couch. IMG_3454

What they don’t know is that we’re all heading to Charlotte tomorrow so they’ll get to see them again soon.  Until then, I’m going to take a few minutes to unwind before another crazy week begins.   Happy Mother’s day to all you moms out there!

A Week of Updates: From coffee to wine

This has been ‘one of those weeks.’  You know the kind where your workouts and meals seem like they’re wedged into 30 minute blocks and the rest of life slops out of it’s designated time slots to overtake your day?  Yes, it was that week.  Thankfully those brief windows of fueling and sweating managed to persist, and I have lived to tell the tale. Next week I will update you on the actual contents of my to-do lists, with big announcements coming out of FemCity Charlottesville.  Ah-mazing upcoming events.

I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again, but coffee is the only reason that I’m alive.  This is one fact that I’m certain of.   One of the hardest things about running around town on a crazy schedule is getting my coffee fix, but also getting some good food into my body to start the day.

LaTaza coffee

One of my favorite spots in Charlottesville, LaTaza, has the awesome coffee house community vibe, with great coffee, and great food to back it up.  The breakfast menu is awesome in and of itself, but they are also amazing about modifications.  I’ve found myself there several times this week for meetings, but Wednesday morning after bootcamp I desperately needed a re-fuel.

Scrambled eggs with zucchini, tomato and a side of avocado. If that’s not an awesome healthy dine-out breakfast, I don’t know what is.  Oh, also, it was delicious.  It’s so hard to find a spot that has great coffee and great food, so this was such an amazing find.

laTaza breakfast

As I was heading back out into the world, well fed and caffeinated, I caught a glimpse of this flyer for Adam & Katie’s yoga workshop next weekend at Opal Yoga, right here in the heart of Charlottesville.


I can not wait for next weekend not only to see those two jokers, but to show them around our beautiful city. Since I know that they’re on the same page when it comes for having locavore hearts and a love for all things farm to table, one of the stops on the docket will undoubtedly be the city market. This way I can fulfill my produce needs for the week, buy my local meat, and see the ever-loving ever-amazing creative soul, Erin McDermott, who will be selling her jewelry there.

Quick sidenote: check out this guide from Real Simple on the best spring produce.  It’s a great one to keep seasonable vegetables in mind, and generate some new fresh meal ideas.

spring produce

Dinners have been mostly grilled or left over this week, with my personal favorite meal of grilled flank steak and vegetables.

flank steak grilled

When it comes to grilled vegetables, the most commonly grilled for me are usually asparagus, squash, eggplant, and peppers/onions when it’s kabob time, so I wanted to throw in something different.  A few weeks ago I had some grilled cauliflower at Zinc that I absolutely loved so I gave it a shot at home.

grilled zucchini + cauliflower

Truly, it was awesome.  Cauliflower doesn’t have the same crisping tendency that broccoli does, so it gets nice and tender without the same burning/dry tips.  You can lightly brush with olive oil and season with salt (or whatever you want – maybe throw in a little cayenne for a kick) and grill it up.

The other upside to grilling a little firmer of a vegetable is that they really hold up well as leftovers to use with other meals, and in the case of this week, in scrambled eggs.  Seriously, it was good.

My sweat schedule this week consisted almost exclusively of Bootcamp, with one simple quick and dirty run that may have actually been my first run in a few weeks. I’ve been nursing a tight back thanks to some not-so-smart adventuring that I did, so my goal was to keep moving, but take it all in stride.  Rest can be a good thing.

I’ve hit my limit of work interest for the day, or maybe the week, so I’ve planned a walk into the afternoon and will be shutting down for the rest of the night with a couple productive but social (socially productive work) meetings to kick off the weekend.   As I  always say, ‘when in doubt, wine,’ and that’s exactly what’s on the docket.


Until next time, keep it local + cook it clean!

Yoga + Doing (Fooding) Good

Sometimes I think about the amazing people who I’ve been lucky enough to meet, and work with, throughout my travels and I feel a little taken aback by how disproportionately amazing my friends and networks are.  I can never keep track of all of the inspiring projects, developing passions, and flat-out good that is happening around me, and never tire from getting excited by other people’s biggest goals.   There are so many amazing possibilities to create in this life, and so little time, so sometimes the only way to stay connected to all of the different tangents is to live vicariously through my friends (read: divide and conquer people, divide and conquer).

When it comes to inspiring a love of Yoga, healthy living, and giving back, there are two people who just fly off the charts in terms of their inspiration rankings.  These two people are Katie Levans and Adam Whiting.

Adam + Katie

I met both of these rock stars back in 2011, when I moved to Charlotte for the second time, and was working with lululemon.  Katie was working at lululemon (with me), going to grad school for her Masters degree in Nutrition (occasionally tossing around the idea of getting her PhD), religiously taking + talking about Tanner’s superflow class at Y2, and blogging on her always witty and entertaining blog: Sweet Tater Blog.  Impressive as that list is typed out, my first two thoughts about Katie were: 1) this girl has crazy (awesome) hair, and 2) she really loves cats. and yoga. and probably cats doing yoga (?). Yes, most definitely.

The more I got to know Katie the more I came to understand that she is passionate about honesty, about animals (on the whole), about nutrition and healthy living for happiness and balance in life. Most importantly she is incredibly real.  With Katie, what you see (or read) is what you get.  It’s the truth, no frills, no embellishments, and absolutely no fake self promotion – which is a very refreshing and rare quality among bloggers and reality stars (oh yeah, you might have seen her on TV before).  Cliffs notes: Katie is awesome.

I met Adam around the same time that I met Katie, centered partly around yoga since he was teaching at Y2 in Charlotte, but mostly because when I insisted on having our lemon team do two nights of consecutive midnight yoga to support and promote 24 Hours of Booty, a bike race to honor and support the cancer community Adam volunteered when none of our other ambassadors could do it (despite having to get up early for his own marathon training in the morning).

late night Yoga @ the Epicenter to promote midnight yoga at 24 Hours of Booty

When your first experience with someone is them selflessly giving their time, passion, and energy to benefit others, and something much larger than themselves, it makes a pretty big impact.  The almost unbelievable thing about Adam is that it wasn’t just a one-time thing.  Adam is constantly inspiring others, living his passion, and building a community of amazing yogis and people everywhere he goes.   This week he is in Whistler representing lululemon Southpark at the Ambassador Summit, and undoubtedly spreading his greatness.

So, what’s my point with all of this?  First to give some props to two of my favorite people.  And secondly to let you know that they’re hitting the road together to share their passions with you (hopefully).  On May 11th they’ll be coming up to Opal Yoga in Charlottesville to give us a visit, and workshop with us on inversions and backbends.

Against Gravity: Yoga Workshop
email to reserve a spot! cost: $30.

So, the yoga was just part 1.  Part 2 of this trip to inspiration station is Katie’s ‘dream it, do it’ approach to creating more significant global change when it comes to ending hunger.  Feeding the hungry, and equitable distribution of our available food resources (healthy food, at that) is a common thread through most of Katie’s soap box moments, and she just recently put into motion a brain child of her own to take the fight against hunger to a simple and social platform.  It’s called Plate Share.

plate share

Check out Katie talking about Plate Share with Southpark Magazine (via the Charlotte Observer).

plate share

plate share

I absolutely love everything about this.  Using social media for good, using change to create change, and supporting the notion that having (good) food should be a right of all human beings.

Cliffs notes: Check out Adam and Katie at any of their current places of business, on any of their social networks, and if you live in Charlottesville, come out and meet them when they’re here in May.  They’re awesome, and we will be peddling them around to all of our favorite locavore establishments, which is to say: everywhere.

A Little luluLovin’ + A Sweet Sweating Week

While I like to eat clean and whole most of the time, I definitely abide by the 80/20 rule because a girl’s gotta live!  This week, being one of the most traditionally sweet I squeezed a little more of that ‘living’ into my life, but rounded it out with some pretty sweet sweats.

We’re in the middle of the 20 class challenge at Pure Barre (20 classes in 30 days) which is universally kicking some butt, so I went a little lighter than last week on the LTB getting two classes in early with Kristin and Amy Jo.  Consider yourselves acknowledged not only by this blog, but by all of the muscles in my body.

Pure Barre Challenge

Classes have been packed full lately, which makes it a little more fun, and definitely helps keep the energy up as we soldier through the last two weeks of the challenge.

The beginning of the week looked a little like this:

Monday:  5.5 mile run + spin w/Mahogany at ACAC

Tuesday: 3.5 mile run + Pure Barre w/Kristin

Wednesday: Pure Barre w/Amy Jo (followed by the Beer Master Dinner at Blue Mountain Brewery. more to come on that soon!)

By Thursday I was ready for a little stretch, and in the spirit of the ‘holiday,’ ready to give a little love to my body.  And guess what? The stars aligned for just that.  I was able to bookend my day with a short run early, and some yoga (VINYASA!) at Opal Yoga‘s grand opening night.

lululemon love

The lovely ladies from lululemon were there spreading love, and giving the gift of The Mat to Opal’s first few students, ever.

this one is better?
sweatworking at it’s finest. R to L is our gluten-free favorite Kristin, me, Alex + Hannah all ready to go.

I was spoiled when I lived in Charlotte to have fantastic hot vinyasa heavy, and awe inspiring teachers and studios at nearly every corner, so when I moved back to Charlottesville to find a severe lack of vinyasa studios, my heart hurt.   As I said to Opal Yoga’s owner, Karen,  I have been waiting for this day for almost a year now.  Considering she’s been working up to this same moment for her whole life, my sacrifice seems small, but still, it was a very exciting moment for all.

beautiful yogi's full of love on LOVE day
beautiful yogi’s full of love on LOVE day

Opal’s space is beautiful and full of such love and energy from Charlottesville’s most enthusiastic, open hearted, and engaging yogi’s.  If you live in Cville there are grand opening events and raffles going on all weekend, and classes happening forevermore.

I finished off the ‘work’ week with Dar’s Bootcamp this morning, and a nap around 1pm that was so very needed by my body.  Tomorrow I’m jump starting the weekend with my third installment of Pure Barre this week, and am then venturing over to the lululemon showroom to teach their complimentary Saturday class at 10am, so if you want to LTB surrounded entirely by luon, come join us.  We’ll be sweating and shaking our little hearts out.

Hope you had fabulous Valentine’s Days filled with the people you love.

put a little love in your heart
put a little love in your heart